What does it mean then, what can it all mean?
Lily Briscoe asked herself, wondering whether,
since she had been left alone, it behoved her to go
to the kitchen to fetch another cup of coffee or
wait here. What does it mean?—a catchword
that was, caught up from some book, fitting her
thought loosely, for she could not, this first
morning with the Ramsays, contract her feelings,
could only make a phrase resound to cover the
blankness of her mind until these vapours had
shrunk. For really, what did she feel, come back
after all these years and Mrs. Ramsay dead ?
Nothing, nothing—nothing that she could ex-
press at all.
She had come late last night when it was all
mysterious, dark. Now she was awake, at her old
place at the breakfast table, but alone. It was
very early too, not yet eight. There was this
expedition—they were going to the Lighthouse,
Mr. Ramsay, Cam, and James. They should
have gone already—they had to catch the tide or